BlueClaws set to retire Hamels’ number – Phillies Nation

BlueClaws set to retire Hamels’ number

Phillies ace Cole Hamels started his pro career in Lakewood

Cole Hamels has achieved a lot as a professional pitcher, but, as many realize, his accomplished career began in the minor leagues.  To honor his time in the developmental ranks, the 30-year-old lefty hurler will have his jersey number 19 retired by the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws prior to the team’s game on Monday, June 9th.

Hamels, who was the Phillies’ top draft choice in 2002 (17th overall), made his pro debut with the BlueClaws in 2003.  As a 19-year-old in the South Atlantic League, Hamels tallied a 6-1 record with a 0.84 ERA in 13 starts before earning a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater.

“Cole is the greatest pitcher that has come through Lakewood and certainly worthy of having his #19 retired by the BlueClaws,” said team general manager Chris Tafrow. “His level of dominance as a BlueClaw speaks for itself, and we have been thrilled to see him carry his professional success that started here 11 years ago into a tremendous career with the Phillies. We’re looking forward to seeing him back in Lakewood in June.”

The jersey retirement ceremony will mark Hamels’ first visit back to FirstEnergy Park since he made a rehab appearance for the ‘Claws in June 2006.

Hamels, a three-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2008 World Series, will be the second former BlueClaws player to have such an honor, after Ryan Howard‘s #29 was retired by the team during a rehab appearance in 2010. Additionally, Jackie Robinson‘s #42 is retired across baseball for breaking baseball’s color barrier, and in honor of long-time South Atlantic League/Western Carolinas League President John Henry Moss, #50 is also retired by all SAL clubs.

Tickets are currently on sale by calling the BlueClaws’ sales office at 732-901-7000 option 2.  Fans can also purchase online by clicking here.



  1. Ken Bland

    May 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I like Hamels a lot.

    Might not seem so with this message, but I like him a lot.

    And while I think it’s nice the Blue Claws are stepping up, and preceding a hopefull Wall of Fame spot some day from The Big Club, it draws me to the barometer of Comparison with a player from way back when.

    See most people think of Lefty Grove as a tremendous all-time lefthander, with 300 big league wins plus. Grove made about a quarter mil in his big league career, by the way.

    But Grove, who not only will shellack Hamels with career totals also had some minor league seasons of impeccable numbers. Maybe Grove should not only have his number retired, but be awarded a post humous MLB multi year no trade clause contract for….

    5 years with Baltimore, winning 108 decisions, sub 3 ERA (barely), H/IP ratio of 7 hits per 9. He lost 36 games. All that BEFORE he embarked on his big league career.

    It’s a nice gesture to retire The Cool One’s number. But in this wacko world we live in, it reminds of the time that a sales rep stood before a President’s Club audience, and was named Salesperson of the Year, and the crowd saluted. There was no mention that the other 6 sales people that had been in the region all were no longer with the staff by the time awards were presented. You gotta look twice at modern day salutations.

    • schmenkman

      May 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Ken, I don’t think there is any reason to “look twice” at this one. How many better pitchers have gone through Lakewood? It’s not the Hall of Fame or even Wall of Fame we’re talking about here, it’s just an A ball team, and Hamels is among the best the team has seen.

      And obviously no one is saying Hamels is comparable to Lefty Grove, a first ballot Hall of Famer and arguably one of the 5 best pitchers in history (if not fewer), but their stats through age 30 are interesting:

      L.Grove: 115-57, 2.98 ERA, 145 ERA+, 1.281 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9
      Hamels: 100-77, 3.41 ERA, 122 ERA+, 1.145 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9

      They played in very different eras, so the Ks and HRs are higher today, but Grove was overall much better as shown by his ERA+.

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